Born: April 19, 1912
Died: November 22, 2005 - Wallingford, New Haven County, Connecticut, USA
The American violist and conductor, Frank Brieff, gave his first violin concert at age 7. He graduated from New York University in 1933 and had been awarded a scholarship for 3 summers studying with Nadia Boulanger in Fontainebleau, France.
Frank Brieff was a noted viola player; he was a member of the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini. He also played viola in the string ensemble accopmanying the legendary Jazz alto saxophone player Charlie Parker in the famous album "Charlie Parker with Strings" (Mercury/Verve, 1950).
In 1952, Frank Brieff was appointed as the 5th Conductor and Music Director of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO), succeeding Richard R. Donovan. He served in this post until 1974, succeeded by Erich Kunzel. On April 19, 1968, Brieff and the NHSO performed the 1906 revision of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1 with newly discovered Blumine inserted as the second movement, and they made the premiere recording of this hybrid score for Columbias budget Odyssey label. The NHSO under Brieff commissioned and first performed many works by American composers, including Toccata for orchestra by Louise Talma (1958); Ariel for soprano and orchestra by Lawrence Moss (1973); Autumnmusic by Donald Erb (1973); Fragments from the Song of songs, an opera for solo voice and orchestra, op. 29 by John La Montaine (performed and recorded with the soprano Adele Addison).
From 1973 to 1993, Frank Brieff was Music Director Waterbury Symphony Orchestra (WSO). During the 1950's and 1960's he also conducted and recorded with the Bach Aria Group of New York City, and Columbia Symphony Orchestra.
Frank Brieff was married for 66 years with Anabel Brieff (October 24, 1915-June 19, 2007), first flutist of NHSO.